Biography:

Anthony Nomar Garciaparra was born on July 23, 1973 in Whittier, California. He graduated from high school weighing a measly 135 punds, but bulked up through extensive weight training. In 1991, the same year he graduated high school, he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 5th round. Nomar declined and instead went to college at Georgia State University. Nomar received a short break from college when he went to the 1992 Olympics to play ball with other collegiate players, such as slugger Jason Giambi, and former teammate Jason Varitek. Unfortunately the team lost in the bronze medal game to Japan. He played baseball for three years as a Yellow Jacket.

Nomar was drafted by the Red Sox in the 1994 June draft. He was the twelfth pick overall and received a $895,000 paycheck for jotting his name down on the contract. He was sent to single A ballclub Sarasota. He quickly moved up the ranks of the Red Sox's farm teams. In 95 he played for the Double A Trenton Thunder. There, he led the team in at bats, triples and runs. He also set a team records with 35 stolen bases and was voted an Eastern League All-Star.

Nomar started the 1996 season with a sore ankle. When he got better he found himself playing Triple A ball at Pawtucket, one step away from the majors. On August 31, 1996 Nomar was called up to the big leagues. In similar fashion to his friend, Lou Merloni, Nomar hit a home run in his first at bat in the majors, and ended up going 3-4 on that day. However it was too late for Nomar to make any real impact for the Bosox.

Nomar started his first full season in the majors in 97 starting at shortstop. In 1997, Nomar came into his own and showed he could play ball, hitting .306 and having 30 home runs in his rookie season. Nomar was voted an All-Star and played in the Midsummer Classic, being played at The Jake that year. He also won the Rookie of the Year award, which is not too surprising looking at his numbers and defensive ability. Before the '98 season, Nomar inked a new deal with the Boston Red Sox paying him $23 million over 5 years. That year he finished second in the voting for the MVP award behind Juan Gonzalez, but he did win the Espy for breakthrough player of the year.

Nomar Started the 1999 season with several minor injuries in spring training and was also in and out of the Sox lineup for the first 3 weeks of the season. During one game in May, Nomar hit 3 home runs including 2 grand slams! Nomar was again voted to the All-Star game and started in front of the hometown crowd. Nomar helped the Red Sox make it to the post season that year, however in usual fashion the red sox got beaten by the Devil's Bitches in the ALCS.

Nomar missed the majority of the 2001 season due to a wrist injury, and only played in 21 games that season. However, in 2002 Nomar was healthy and playing as he usually did, excellent. Voted to the 2002 All-Star Game, his fourth appearance at the Midsummer Classic, along with 4 other shortstops for the American League. He saw playing time late in the game and only had one at bat, grounding out to shortstop while pinch hitting for fellow shortstop Miguel Tejada.

As noted above, Nomar is really superstitious, even for an athlete. He conducts a rather interesting pre-bat ritual which I can't even begin to describe. Although it does look very similar to a cheer the cheerleaders did at my high school. Nomar also wears the same pair of lucky boxers for each game.

Nomar was traded to the Chicago Cubs at the 2004 trade deadline in a three-team deal with the Cubs, Red Sox, and Minnesota Twins. He re-signed with the Cubs after the season, but his 2005 campaign was cut short by a torn groin muscle he suffered during the first month of the season. He returned in August, but was hobbled for the rest of the season and wasn't particularly productive. After the season, he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, for whom he played first base when he wasn't nursing an injury.

Prior to the 2009 season, Nomar, a free agent and by now on his last legs as a player, signed a one-year contract with the Oakland Athletics. That season he was not really a factor as the A's didn't do particularly well.

In March 2010, the Red Sox signed him to a one-day contract so he could retire as a member of the team he started with back in 1996. Immediately after signing that contract, he announced his retirement in a press conference.

In 1998, Nomar and American soccer superstar Mia Hamm married. They have no children.

Statistics:

Number: 5
Position: Shortstop, first base
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 185
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
sources:
www.espn.com
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/stats?statsId=5706
http://www.geocities.com/nomaronline/nomar.htm
http://www.hickoksports.com/history/olbaseball.shtml
http://redsoxbaseball.tripod.com/players/nomar/

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